June 30, 2019
by Rob Nudds
Our industry always has room for highly legible watches. While the Victorinox Swiss Army Fieldforce collection may not surprise anyone, it would be difficult to criticize their ability as tool watches. This release sees three new watch heads added to the collection. Expanding the offering is the choice between a leather strap or a metal bracelet, bringing the total new looks available to six.
The bracelet carries a $45 premium. While that really is very reasonable (and seems preposterously cheap in comparison to many of the luxury watches we often review), it does amount to an almost 13% increase on the base cost of the watch when fitted with a leather strap ($350, excluding tax). In my opinion, the most handsome model available is the (only very slightly) blue dial on the tan brown leather strap. For some reason, it is exactly the watch I would imagine the Swiss military wearing (with matching lederhosen) while guarding dairy cows, waiting for someone to attack them so they could leap into action (oh, the woes of armed neutrality).
The bracelet makes this watch altogether less earthy and far more professional. Perhaps the best watch head to marry with the steel bracelet is the black dial version. This gives the watch a much stealthier and far colder personality.
Considering its price point, the Victorinox Fieldforce collection packs a good deal of functionality into the package. The day/date function is very useful to have, and telling the time on this watch couldn’t be easier. The large, Arabic numerals are raised from the dial and treated with a generous helping of Super-LumiNova, as are the hour and minute hands. The seconds hand is colored in “Victorinox Red” and nods to the Swiss Army Knives for which the brand is better known, by way of a subtle counterpoise in the sharp of the famous knife handle.
With regard to hand proportions, all three are excellent. The hour hand perfectly faces off against the luminous triangle that replaces the 3 o’clock numeral (while not touching it), and the minute hand touches the lower tip of the minute track, while the seconds hand runs all the way to the end of it.
At less than $400 on a bracelet from an established, if very much entry-level, brand, this is really quite a prospect. The watch sits snugly in the collection, with numerals reminiscent of the Victorinox Swiss Army Airboss models we’ve reviewed in the past. Proportionally, the 42mm stainless steel, analog quartz Victorinox Swiss Army Fieldforce collection is not too dissimilar from the far more expensive TAG Heuer Autavia Isograph watch. Despite the quartz movement, the use of a sapphire crystal and the guarantee of 100 meters water resistance mean this is a well-built, highly affordable alternative to luxury brands. Each model in the Victorinox Swiss Army Fieldforce watch collection has a retail price of $350 before taxes on leather and $395 before taxes on the bracelet. Learn more at swissarmy.com.